Cheese. It might be my favorite thing. I love just about any kind. And I like it on just about anything.
Fruit and cheese.
Crackers and cheese.
Chocolate and cheese.
And wine and cheese. Just a few of my favorite combinations. (I’m drooling as I type.)
I can’t imagine life without cheese. Cheese and I were M.F.E.O. (Made For Each Other.)
But for the next 30 days, we’re giving it up (meaning Kory and I are giving it up.).
Along with all dairy. All grains. All legumes. All sugar. All soy. And all processed foods of any kind.
What on earth will we be eating? And why are we doing this, you may ask?
It’s The Whole30 Challenge.
Meat, vegetables, and fruit only. So we can engage in a personal experiment to cleanse our bodies and allow them to heal, and to learn, once and for all, how the foods we eat are affecting our health and wellness. Might those foods be contributing to my foggy brain, low energy, poor sleep, tingly feet, and tendon pain? Might they be contributing to Kory’s neck and back pain, poor sleep, chronic sinus and respiratory issues, and seasonal allergies?
We don’t know. But we’re determined to find out.
To kick-start the challenge, I’ve been reading It Starts With Food, written by the creators of The Whole30 Challenge, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. I’m one of those people who needs to know the “why” behind just about everything I do, and this book is a thorough explanation of the “why” behind this approach to nutrition.
I’ll warn you. The first half of the book is tough. It’s laced with all the bad news about the damage the typical American diet is doing to our bodies. And by the time I got to the middle, I was downright depressed. So many foods that I know and love like bread, black beans, Greek yogurt, cheese, and peanuts will be forbidden fruits on this plan, and according to their research and practical experience, may be causing severe damage to my body.
It would be really easy to get stuck right here.
“I can’t have this.”
“I can’t have that.”
But the Hartwigs encourage Whole30 Challenge participants not to focus on what they can’t eat but, instead, to focus on what they can eat.
To focus on their abundance instead of their scarcity.
And on The Whole30 Challenge, there’s a lot of abundance. Let me explain.
Friends. For the next 30 days, I get to eat THE WHOLE EGG.
Liquid egg whites? You are dead to me!
So are you whey protein powder who dresses yourself up as “healthy” with 50 gazillion ingredients (yes, that’s a number) I can’t pronounce much less identify as part of God’s creation.
And turkey bacon? You might as well go back where you came from. I’m eating the real stuff. Because when you buy real bacon from a local farmer in its uncured natural form, this is what it says on the ingredients line:
(Incidentally, we discovered the uncured bacon is gray, not brown, after it’s cooked. Query: What on earth makes the bacon brown then? We’ve also discovered that homemade salad dressing congeals in the refrigerator because that’s what happens to oil when it’s cooled. Why doesn’t bottled dressing congeal? I can’t even…won’t even…don’t want to find out.)
Yes. My life will be filled with abundance for the next 30 days. Practically any whole meat, vegetable, and fruit is allowed. So it’s all a matter of perspective.
I’m choosing to focus on what I can eat instead of what I can’t.
And you should too. Whether it’s food or something else in your life that’s gotten you down, might it lift your spirits to change your perspective? By taking the focus off of your scarcity and putting your focus on your abundance? My guess is that this shift in focus would make a powerful difference in terms of how you navigate whatever issue plagues you going forward.
But I digress. Back to food. My current issue.
I’d like to invite you along for the journey.
For the next 30 days, I will be journaling about my experience taking The Whole30 Challenge. I will include a daily entry to share what I’m eating, how my body is reacting to this change, whether any of my ailments go away, and recipes, meal planning tips, and shortcuts I’m learning as I go. If you’d like to follow along, you can subscribe to the blog via email, Like Us on Facebook (if those greedy folks over at Facebook will allow the Blog Facebook Page into your newsfeed), Follow Me on Twitter or Pinterest, or check in regularly here at confessionsofapastorsfamily.com (on the “My Whole30 Journey” page) for updates.
Wish me luck! And happy eating everyone!